Sunday, December 4, 2011

14 days until 30

I hate how histrionic I'm getting about turning 30.

It's like I've turned into a parody of myself somehow. I want to just let it slide on by, just another number, but instead any time that number even nudges itself into my peripheral vision, I grab onto it. I make bad jokes about all the things I'm no longer allowed to do as of two weeks from now and about turning 20. I declare "We don't speak of the 30!" to my younger friends. I'm sure I must seem insufferable to my older friends, like those university students on the bus who bemoan their upcoming 20th birthday.

For an (almost) psychologist, I have some mighty pitiful defence mechanisms.

I think it is really the forced reflection that I'm reacting to more than anything. It's like whenever we ring in another decade, there are countless fluff pieces and televised countdowns about the true theme of the 90s was or what the 2000s mean to you. I feel as though this strange symbolism of 3650 days (give or take for leap years, I suppose) is trying to peg me into summing up my 20s somehow. Turning 20, though still surreal, was easier, because so much happens those ten years before, you can't help but feel kind of accomplished.

When I look back to my 20s, my first flash is "Holy Christ, I spent all of my 20s in school." This is, truthfully, an amazingly one-dimensional way of looking at the past ten years. True, I did spend almost all of my 20s in school, except for that 12 month break between 21 and 22 where I worked two jobs and focused all my attention on getting back into school.

But, lest I get into one of those "let me list everything that was awesome about the past ten years" kind of posts, there genuinely has been loads of other stuff going on behind the research papers, unpaid practica and numerous moves. Even just a few days ago, on an incredibly mundane Wednesday evening with the cold seeping into the crack between my sleeve and mittens, as station wagons drove by, I had one of those surreal moments of gratitude for my life, as cyclonic as it may feel lately. I'm loved and I do what I love, after all.

So why the hell am I letting two little digits even try to shake me?


Anonymous said...

Oh what I wouldn't give to be almost turning 30 right now. Wait till you turn almost 40...that's even passed for me. I forget how young you are!! And look what you've accomplished (except ever meeting Jack Johnson) lol! Appreciate this time now, because you won't be able to help yourself when you're 40 to look back and say, "god i wish I was 30 again!"

Mega said...

fbbff! Well, I haven't been on FB much lately. But I know what you mean. Its just a number, why do we get worked up about it? After I turned 30 I was like "wait, thats it?"

Hope you're back full time now.

P said...

As the late great Aaliyah once sang, "age ain't nothing but a number".

I'm 32. It ain't so bad.

Susan Bennett said...

There is nothing wrong with turning 30! Thirty is YOUNG. Best of all it is young and just ever so slightly sophisticated. Enjoy it! Love it! You are just coming into yourself as a human being at 30, and you get to do it with the best of your youthful looks to boot. I wish I had realised how young 30 is when I turned 30. I wasted a wonderful time of life instead of enjoying it.

Ant said...

Turning 30 seems to have been an unbelievably massive turning point in my life, entirely for the better. There was a weird sense of calm, and a very complete understanding of what I wanted to do, and where I wanted to go etc. Of course, moving to Melb was a big part of that, but astrology types have been telling me that's the sort of thing that lines up for you at 30. Obviously, as a good scientist I don't believe that the "movements in Uranus" affect my life - but it's usually trotted out by some bimbo with nice tits that I'm trying to sleep with, so that in itself just underscores the cycle of satisfaction. :-)

Hope you have a fantastic birthday, and that things line up for you too!

PS I'm holding down the enter button to get line-breaks here, like I would in FB. This makes me realise how long it's been since I've commented on Blogger and it's making me very nostalgic.

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time, I turned 30, too... and 40... and 50. Now I'm creeping up on 60 and feeling pretty much the same as I did when I was turning 30 or 40 -- more fabulous than ever! If you're doing what you love, it only gets better. For me, at 30 and 40, I was finally taken more seriously: first by my employers, then by clients and other business associates, as well as by many older members of my family. Funny, though. My dad has always seen me as a teenage girl, I think -- vulnerable, naive, and incapable of making decisions that are good for me, despite a now-30-year run of making good ones that have led to great happiness and success that can be measured on any scale. Go figure. Obviously this says more about him than me.

I say embrace your ongoing maturity! It only means you're acquiring more experiences to draw from as you make your next decisions. You can decide to be as happy or miserable as you like. I've chosen happy. There are more options available with happy.

Happy birthday!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! Does this mean I can expect more writings from you? :)

choochoo said...

I thought that turning 30 would be a big deal, in some way. But when the day came, it was really just like any other birthday :D

eric1313 said...

You did spend a pretty good amount of that time blogging, you know. And you blogged about things other than school (though school tended to come into play one way or another, granted), which leads one to believe that perhaps you had a life outside of school and blogging

Face it, everyone was jealous.

You know, I started blogging right before thirty. Made life kinda cool, it slowed it down, as at that time i was feeling life rush by uncontrollably. I was not panicked, but I was definitely in that broad group of "not happy" folks.

Of course, with the blog I was able to do a whole lot of creative work and shared some great times reading and corresponding. Was able to forget about things like age and time hurtling onward. My time was filled with things that I really enjoyed doing.

Perhaps you should simply give yourself more time doing something you love to do. Grow and expand. I know you are probably hella busy, but find some time to explore thyself. You still have a stage here, certainly!

Anyway, good to see your font again. Break us off a chunk of Princes Chronicles a little more often, if you could.

Jerri Chan said...

Today I went online and found your blog really amazing, I think you have an amazing creativity I am happy to learn from you even can't be met in the real world.
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Grzegorz Laskowski said...

Pozdrowienia z Warszawy.

eric1313 said...

Coming March 5th I turn 40. Just in time for my own histrionics regarding the "turning" of age 30 to have settled down.

But in art, I've been progressing, I think! Quickly does the rust-shell shatter and blow away reddening the wind.

I would love to read your opinions these days, should you choose to grace a poem or two with them.